I have been ‘um’ing and ‘ah’ing how to and whether or not to write this post. I keep picking up the laptop and typing up the first paragraph and then backing out. This has been the case for the last twelve days, I have also been distracted by three papers and an exam! Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t revelational or intense it is just hard to write because it is about mental health and as a sufferer of anxiety opening yourself up to the world is terrifying. If you are a follower of my blog, you will see me write about my anxiety occasionally and offering suggestions on how to deal with it the funny thing is I never take my own suggestions! So from now on every time I offer a suggestion I will provide evidence of me actually completing the task at hand.
I am not going into humungous detail about my ordeals, instead I am going to talk about how it feels, what it is and the role it plays in my life. Obviously, Mental health awareness week was recently and you may think why didn’t she post then? Well, a) it made me too anxious but b) mental health is just a matter of one week. When you suffer with a condition it is 24/7 like they say a dog is for life not just for Christmas and the same is true of any mental health condition. Yes, it can improve but you are always going to have days when washing your hair feels to much or you feel quiet and that is normal.
So anxiety, what is it? To be diagnosed it is the intense feeling of worry and anxiousness for most days of the week for a long period of time. Obviously this is at first, once you have been given help and guidance hopefully it will only be glimpses and moments. This definition is yes, very true but doesn’t really offer much insight because anybody could be worried for a long period of time so what are the other symptoms? For me, exhaustion is key, when I am having an anxious day I am wiped out and zoned out. Nobody can get my attention and I am in my own space. I tend to get this feeling like I am underwater a lot which is hideous. I went to the doctor about being exhausted and she looked me dead in the eye and said “Hannah, you have anxiety that is incredibly exhausting, you’re mind is working overtime, allow yourself to rest” and wow, it struck a chord. I never thought of it like that, I always thought my anxiety is just me being irrational but it is something I need to look after. So on anxious days, I will nap and watch netflix and that is OKAY. Another symptom I get is stomach aches, not butterflies, doubled up and bent over stomach aches. I also suffer from panic attacks when the anxiety is really acute, so say in exam season I will get them. I feel as if something is sat on my chest, I get this ball of anxiety and it won’t leave until I am distracted, having a panic attack or taking my meds. Finally I get the horrid intrusive thoughts which are the most annoying things, for instance if my mum is longer than ten minutes going to get milk from the shop, instantly I am thinking something is wrong. If I am in an exam, my mind is only focused on my phone going off and ruining the exam and so on. Everything that could possibly go wrong in any situation runs through my mind at a million thoughts a second. So these are just some of my symptoms but they can all vary hugely luckily mine are quite controllable with my medication and support system in place. Also don’t forget if you don’t have a support system you can seek help from places such as Mind and your GP!
I just wanted to share the part of my life that I like to keep to myself because I do feel silly and have been told I am many times. Well I am here to tell you my lovely readers, you are not silly, anxiety is so common and anything that helps you and anything that you feel is being felt by millions every day. This post may not seem a lot but part of mental health conditions especially with anxiety, is the fear of the unknown, instantly I think, what will people think? Will I be judged? But I am overcoming that so that even if one person is aided by my post then it was worth it! So guys, you are not abnormal, you are not weird and you are brave. I hope this was worth the read! I look forward to getting back in the blogging game now that I have finished my first year of uni and supporting all of you lovely people!
Hannah Jayne Artis ❤
PS. Feel free to contact me if you too are going through anxiety and need somebody that gets it to help! Here is a picture of me being me!